R.I.P. Santa

January 4, 2012

“Mom, is Santa REAL?” ….. “Mom, is there really a Santa or are YOU Santa?” …. “Mom, how could Santa possibly make it to all the good boys and girls in one night? The world’s a big place you know!” …. “Mom, if there really IS a Santa then I will get an iPad for Christmas, right?”

It was about three weeks before Christmas and the non-stop questions and the relentless grilling from the little people in this house had started to wear on me.  November and December were crazy busy and with the stress of work and trying to keep up with church events and school Christmas programs I was feeling tired and overwhelmed.  I had so much Christmas shopping to finish and hadn’t a clue when I would do it … let alone when I would find the time to wrap all the presents.  All evening Ethan had been bombarding me with questions about Santa and I had done a pretty good job of giving vague answers or ignoring the questions. 

But the kid is good … like a mini Magnum PI … and I finally cracked.

“Mom, is Santa REAL?”

“What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?”

“An iPad or a 3DS ….. but is there really a Santa or are YOU Santa?”

“What do you think Rudolph and Santa are doing right now? I bet they are busy getting everything ready for the big night!”

“Mom …. I was thinking about this whole Santa thing and how could Santa possibly make it to all the good boys and girls in one night? The world’s a big place you know!”

“Yes, the world is a big place.”

“Mom, if there really IS a Santa then I will get an iPad for Christmas, right?”

That was the question that pushed me over the edge …..  I looked at Ethan and realized this kid was not giving up!

 “Do you really want to know if Santa is real?”

“Yes”

“Are you sure?”

He nodded his head.

I looked him straight in the eye and broke the news, “Santa is not real … It’s just Dad and I.”

Instead of heartbreak Ethan seemed elated, “Yes!  I knew it!”  he exclaimed, grinning ear to ear.

I went back to folding laundry thinking that the questions would stop, but Ethan had to get the whole story.

“Wait a minute …. So you MAKE the cookies and then you EAT the cookies?”

I laughed and said, “Well … yes, but Dad helps!”

“Well, if Santa is not real then I guess I don’t have to be good. I mean, I’m not going to get coal in my stocking if Santa is not real!”

“Are you sure you want to test that theory?”

“Hmmm …. Maybe I’ll just keep being good. It’s not that long until Christmas and I think I can stay out of trouble for a few more weeks.”

As we were getting ready for bed Ethan decided to break the news to Emma.

“Hey Emma – did you know that Santa is not real?  It’s just Mom and Dad.”

“Wait … what? What do you mean?”

“There is no Santa. You know the cookies we leave out for Santa? Mom and Dad just eat those and then they put the presents under the tree.”

Emma’s mouth dropped open. She was shocked! “I really believed it! I believed there was a Santa … and reindeer ….and that they could fly! I believed that Santa had a workshop up at the North Pole … and that he made all the toys … and that he had elves!  I believed the whole thing!”

She thought a little more and said, “So it’s just you and Dad?” 

I nodded, “Yes, just me and Dad.” 

“Well, that’s kinda boring … not nearly as exciting as reindeer and flying and a sleigh filled with toys. Maybe we can still pretend there is a Santa … I mean, we will know it’s REALLY you guys, but we can pretend and still write letters and make cookies. Do you think we can do that?”

“Sure, I think we can do that. It would be fun to keep pretending, wouldn’t it?”

They both agreed and then Ethan added, “I bet you are glad we are going to keep playing your game because otherwise you wouldn’t get to eat all those cookies on Christmas Eve!”

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